Tech

Augmented reality: 5 reasons why it's the future

Augmented reality (AR) could be a lifesaver in the future. With Apple rumored to be launching a set of AR glasses, here's why it's set to be huge.

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5. Video games

Minecraft on a computer is great, but what about using a Microsoft HoloLens to bring a craftable world right into their own living room? Recent updates to Apple's ARKit even support multiplayer games.

Microsoft/YouTube

Consumer AR glasses could take early augmented reality games like Pokémon Go to the next level...

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4. Interacting with everyday objects

What if objects provided you with more context and other ways to interact? Volodymyr Kurbatov shared this concept of a credit card that responds to swipes.

Volodymyr Kurbatov

The technology could also be used to provide instructions on how to repair things, as seen with HoloLens.

Microsoft

3. More immersive video calls

Ready to get in touch with people across the world? AR video calls could help people across the world communicate in a more immersive way. Microsoft's "holoportation" research shows how people could scan 3D versions of themselves and place them in recipients' own spaces.

2. Sampling online orders

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that online shopping is a lifesaver in a pandemic. AR can help people look at furniture, art, or other items in their homes, or even try on clothes. Ikea already offers the technology with its Ikea Place app.

Ikea

5. Map directions

Don't know which way you're going? Google Maps introduced a live view for directions last year, which demonstrates how AR could help people navigate by following giant virtual arrows instead of looking down at an on-screen map all the time.

Google

Perhaps the directions could even float alongside controls for your vehicle one day, helping you keep your eyes where they belong. Of course, by then, the cars may be driving themselves and AR will be used for keeping you entertained on the journey instead.

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